Monday, July 21, 2014

solo training

My running buddy has been busy running the jungles and beaches of Costa Rica the last few days and I have been running the newly paved streets of Shawnee.  No, not nearly as exciting.  40 miles last week in all and I still have five more runs until a rest day.  On top of 40 miles, I also lifted legs w J and I ended up WAY sore!  I am really really hoping the soreness is the main reason I've been running so SLOW.  I am currently NOT feeling very confident in my ability to hit our goal time, not like I REALLY do EVER, but certainly not after my past couple of runs...

Thursday, July 17, 2014

30 miles in 3 days

When we say our training is flexible, we mean it.  We both travel quiet a bit, and when we do, all training revolves around a trip so that we can go on our trip feeling accomplished and guilt free.  This leads us to doing some pretty grueling runs...  

Last Sunday, we had our first two-a-day run, 6 + 6.  It was 105 that day, we ran in the morning outside and then the afternoon on the treadmill for 5.5 and then outside for the last half mile (b/c the Y closed and we were told to leave ha).  Then Monday evening, as late as Em could get me to wait, after dinner and after J and I lifted, we ran another 6, got done around 9:45pm then at 5:15am we were out for 12 more.  The only good thing I have to say about that run was it was cool thanks to some mini polar vortex that came through, otherwise, I don't know if we could have made it.  Running 12 that close to a 6, that was that close to another 12, REALLY mimicked running a full.  Our legs were just as tired and our toes just as sore as they would be in miles 20-26 of a race.  I remember running up the hill on Harrison thinking I wasn't sure if I had four more in me.  There was a point where we looked at each other and asked "why do we DO this?  Why don't we just wear work out and meet for coffee?"  But we did have a good solid four or so miles in the middle that we ran at or below race pace, 8:45ish,  but the rest were fairly slow, 9-9:30, and we didn't bring water (sigh).  Did i mention we are aiming for 3:59:00?  That's so fast for these legs... BUT we are getting closer and we still have plenty of time.  During this run we got to see a really pretty sunset in addition to enjoying the cool morning.  We had to rely heavily on our music to get us through rather than our normal chats, which I can't do under 9mm very well, but I'm getting there.  

Yesterday was a much needed rest day, and today will be three on the treadmill (due to the rain) and lower body weights, followed by another 3, a 4, and a 6 the rest of the week.  All in all, the 6 day a week plan is working pretty well.  I'm skipping some weight lifting every now and then, which I wish I wasn't doing, but things are just busy.  

On another note, I've been having issues with my hip since APRIL.  And despite the 30 miles that had me worried, it actually feels BETTER than it has in a long time. Josh has been using our deep tissue torture device, I mean, massager and it really has helped.  I think one of my glute muscles is in a GIANT knot and it's HARD to stretch and REALLY deep in there, but the pain of J's treatments have been worth it!  I need to get a full deep tissue massage desperately, but you know, gotta find time and childcare.  

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Road to NYC

Many of you know that I began running several years ago and this hobby has literally changed my life.  Cheesy I know, but when I started, I was about 30 pounds heavier and really bad at following through with a task or a challenge.  I didn't have much confidence in myself and I was bouncing around trying to figure out who I was.  Now, I feel that I can do things I set my mind to, I accomplish goals that I set, and I have more of an understanding of who I am than ever before, miles and miles on the road alone will teach you so much about yourself.

I can remember back to high school, years before I became a runner, I became completely fascinated by the NYC marathon.  When I did become a runner, I never really felt "worthy" of running it, (I still don't really) and of course, you have to do one of three things to get in, qualify (yeah, right), get in through the lottery system (about a 3% chance), or raise money through a charity.  Due to the fact that I wanted in THIS year, before my 35th bday, I decided to enter through a charity, Team for Kids, and commit to raising $2700.  THEN, I decided to try to talk my running buddy into it, who at the time, had yet to run her first marathon.  However, soon after her (and her husbands) first race, they decided to get on board.  Which was SUPER exciting, but DID double our fundraising goal.  OH WELL.  We started fundraising, through Parents Nights Out, garage sales, and painting parties.  We spent the spring training for the Memorial in April, reduced our miles for the months of May and June, added a weight lifting program, and about 4 weeks ago, started our 20 week training plan for NYC.  In JULY, in OKLAHOMA.  You know what that means?  THAT means it's HOT.  Our bathtubs are constantly covered in sweat covered clothes, that have to dry out before we can even put them in our dirty clothes to limit the smell.  We drip sweat like we never knew we could, we have already had runs that haven't started until 9:30pm.  And today, we have our first two-a-day, 6 in the am and 6 in the pm, oh, and it's the hottest day so far.  Yikes.

The other challenge, besides our training plan that consist of almost 700 miles, is the fact that both of our husbands are training for races, Colby a full and Josh a tri (colby may be training of the tri too, I'm not sure) and we all have a job or two, we have four kids, and C is on call 1/3 of the time.  So that means some runs are tricky.  Take this morning, our first of two runs,  C got called in before E and I were even out of the driveway. SO, we ran 1.25 out and back while C got ready and finished the rest by running back and forth on the appx 200 meter stretch in front of her house where we could see her front door and staggering our start so that one of us was always really close to her driveway. WHY?  Because one of the four kids was sleeping inside and we had to make sure she was ok.  We ran back and forth while sticking our head in every few minutes to check on Q and of course, she slept the whole time.  All in all, despite the redundancy, getting to 6 was pretty quick and painless, it was just warm.  But not nearly as warm as the day before when my husband had to go get a bike ride in and my two kids were home and awake, and I waited until 11am to go do speed work, which I also had to do right in front of my house so I could watch my kids who were playing in the driveway and/or riding their bikes....even my EYELASHES were dripping sweat.

Normally our runs are OUR time, but 6 days a week?  We are gonna just have to do what we have got to do.  And of course, we have to get used to it this summer, because come Fall, E and I go back to work and we have football seasons to contend with, and yes, two different football teams, of course...

To donate to our fundraising efforts you can click here:
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Friday, July 11, 2014

C's bday and Christmas, Disney take 2, and Lyla's bday

  • So, we had Christmas in December,  now it's JULY and I'm trying to remember it.  It's kind of blurry now, mainly because it was very low key this year.  When you give your kids a trip to the most magical place on earth for Christmas and MAKE yourself not do your normal Christmas explosion on Christmas morning, there is less anticipation.  However, my kids still had a wonderful Christmas morning filled with toys, fun, and of course, bubble bread.  I seriously don't remember the timeline for the rest of the christmas's but I know we went to my moms, we had christmas with my dad, eventually with DeDe, and both moms.  However, most plans had to be rearranged due to our extended stay in Florida.  

  • Three days after Christmas we had Carson's bday of course.  This year was pretty awesome however, because it was EASY. All he wanted was to have three people over to play BeyBlades.  So, we invited kids and parents over and they played, ate pizza, had cake, and then the party continued until around midnight.  For his bday, Carson got a basketball goal and he was PUMPED.  He also got tons of BeyBlades and a new hat.  We had a wonderful day celebrating our sweet boy.

By the end of his birthday, I was still so confused that I had a SIX year old.  Of course, now, he is 6.5 and is talking about his 7th bday.  WOW.  Normally I'm all into the moment when I blog about bdays, and I'm not so much now, so I promise to blog better when he turns 7.

  • Shortly after C's bday I decided to go back to Disney to run with Emily in the Disney Marathon b/c our friend Lindsey got hurt.  It was Em's first full and I really wanted to get to run it with her anyway, so when L had to back out, I jumped on the opportunity.  So, I met E and her husband Colby at Downtown Disney for a night of fun, followed by a day at Animal Kingdom and Epcot, then another day of hitting the Expo and then relaxing by the pool getting rested before our 3am!?!? wake up call the next day for the race.  Since I didn't go into much detail about my first borns bday, I won't go into too much detail about this either, I'll just say it was FUN!  Disney had characters and even ships out at almost every mile, you could take pics with them, or as E and I preferred, take a selfie with the characters in the background, we could even ride rides with no waits.  We finished our race with a watch time that was 40-50 minutes faster than our official time, so we played for a LOT of the race.  After we finished, we walked over to Downtown Disney again to meet Colby, (who started 1.5 horus before us due to different coral starts) and to eat.  After lunch I had to hop back to the hotel and then to the airport to get back for the first day of school that was the next day. 

  • In April we had Lil Bit's bday.  She too wanted something easy (which was lucky b/c we had to cram it in between ball games) so we just had a Frozen singalong at a frozen yogurt shop. The little girls came in their favorite Frozen attire, Lyla in her Anna dress from Disney of course, and they sang, danced and ate cake and ice-cream, all really fast before a giant storm got to town.  It was quiet the day!  

Again, I promise to do better at 5.  BUT, this has been a BUSY spring and summer!!!

First Disney Vacation Dec 2013

Well, it's only been a little over two months since our Disney trip, I guess it's time to blog about it.

First off, THIS was the vaca I had been waiting for.  When I was pregnant, I realized that having having kids would one day mean a family Disney vacation in Orlando.  Something that neither J or I had ever done. So, we have been planning for this trip for years.  We had decided on waiting until L was 4, but naturally, I got anxious to start planning.  As I planned, I realized that December (early) was the cheapest route, and I didn't want to wait another year.  Carson had been counting down with us after all, so we decided to surprise them by going early, and by giving it to them as a gift.

I thought and thought about a really cool creative way to tell them, and really came up with nothing.  I also wanted SOME time to be excited together, so I didn't want to wait until the airport.  So, we decided to just wrap up some Disney themed clothes and their Magic Bands (aka tickets) and have them open them the day before we leave.  We would leave directly from our house for OKC, stay up by the airport, and leave our early the next morning. So, we got up on the big day as usual, I took our Danish girls to the bus back to Denmark, I ran, J and the kids did stuff, we all showered and got ready for the day, then we asked the kids if they wanted to open an early Christmas present.  OF COURSE they did.  While the packed bags waited in the kitchen, the kids each opened their Disney clothes, C was NOT excited, L of course loved it.  Then it was on to the magic bands, C opened them and kinda starred, he didn't know what they were so I told him.  Lyla jumped up and down and 'woo hoo'd" but C was a little in shock.  OH, they had also gotten autograph books with their clothes, you could see his wheels turning, everything was making sense.  I told them to go look in the kitchen, they saw the bags, then ran back in to get their books and their clothes.  I told them about all our plans, they woohoo'd some more and we took off. 

Our first stop was to see Frozen, we knew it would be huge when we got there.  I'm so glad we did, b/c it was HUGE.  We went to dinner that night, actually, we had a picnic in our hotel room, managed to get the kids to bed and took off the next day. 

Travel was fantastic, the kids loved their first plane ride, Disney's Magical Express was 'magical' we got to our room, dumped things off and headed out to Downtown Disney...

I really don't feel the need to document every day, but I would like to do the big stuff. 

At DTD, we ate at the TRex Café, the kids loved it, it's like Rainforest (which is also down there) but Dinosaur style.  The food was good, atmosphere was fun, and we all really enjoyed our time there AND at Downtown Disney. 
While at dinner I was telling the kids (again) about all the places I had reserved for us to eat at.  I had planned as many character dinners as I could, but missed out on some 'big' ones, like Cinderella's Table because I booked like one month out or something silly.  But J decided to just go on and call the reservation desk and see, and guess what!  We could go to Cinderella's castle the next morning for breakfast. Perfect.  And that began our DAILY "change all the plans mom worked hard on making" planning session.  Yes, every single day we changed something, meals, the rides we wanted, whatever.  If I have any advice for people it is, go during a down time, book a couple of things you REALLY REALLY want, like Cinderella's Table, and wing the rest.  I know I know.  Not the typical surviving Disney advice.

So, the next morning we got up crazy early to head to Magic Kingdom.  When we walked in I seriously got a little teary eyed (yes me).  Seeing Disney and my families faces seeing Disney, all for the first time was amazing.

 Anyway, enough mushy stuff, we were there right when the park opened so we spend the morning before our 10:30 reservation at the Castle, wondering up to characters, there were no lines, and riding every single ride on our agenda for the whole day.  boom boom boom. We just knocked stuff out.  On our last ride before heading over, we told Lyla that we were going to Cinderella's castle.  Her face was priceless.

We headed over to the castle and she was just in AWE!!!  She got to meet every princess on her list all in one setting. And we enjoyed that we didn't have to wait in line.
 After breakfast, we were a little lost about what to do.  Disney in early December is really not crowded in the morning, and so we had gotten through our entire days agenda in half a day.  We had seen many characters we had wanted to see, and I had planned on going back to Magic Kingdom for another day, so we wanted to save some stuff.  AND AND, we had planned on going back that evening.  So, we went and checked out a few more things, had lunch, and decided to head back to the hotel around 2. Side note: When we go back, we will do that every day. Park early until after lunch, then hotel pool until we head back to the park around dinner time.  We ate somewhere (I can't remember) and then got to catch the show at the castle that night.  Before the fireworks, we caught the Electric Parade from a front row spot.  The kids got high fives and enjoyed hot chocolate.  Then after awhile, it was time for the castle show.  THAT was my favorite part of Disney.  I knew there was a good firework show, but I didn't know that there was a light show on the castle.  We were ALL totally fascinated. After the show, we headed over to ride some more rides, Tea Cups (we had a ball), rode go carts, and some more stuff, it was super fun. I wish we had gone every night.

The second day at Magic Kingdom, we had Pirates League and BBBoutique.  I really recommend doing this with little kids.  My kids LOVED the experience and wore their clothes for two days.  Even Lyla's hair lasted two days!  AND, the cast members were so fantastic with them.  One of the cute things C loved, was when he was in the castle waiting on Lyla, the Fairy God Mothers would all shout "Look out! There's a pirate in the castle!" After Pirates League, a Disney cast member who is a photographer at the Pirates Tutorial, who I met through a friend on Facebook, met us to take extra pics of C. They were super cute, and then "somehow" ;) Captain Jack picked Carson to be on stage during the show AND made him be the one who fought him. This may have been the best experience of C's life. He LOVES pirates, and we had to ride the Pirates of the Caribbean ride multiple times.  

The rest of the day was spent exploring the part of the park that we didn't hit on Monday, Tales with Belle, Ariel's whatever, the Dumbo ride, etc.  That night, we had planned on 'celebrating' C's birthday at 1500 Parkfair (or something) over at the Grand Floridian.  While we were a little disappointed in the "celebration" the kids really enjoyed the meal and the entire cast of Cinderella. C even took his first princess picture here.  It was a pretty good character meal for only one meal exchange.  After dinner, we couldn't make it back for fireworks, so we went back to our hotel to get to bed for our early morning the next day.

The next day began with breakfast with the Disney Junior Cast- Jake is a family favorite- at Hollywood and Vine. The kids LOVED this.  The characters roamed around as they do, and had dance breaks throughout the meal. I also enjoyed this meal as far as buffets go.  Fresh fruit, yogurt, oatmeal.  Good stuff.  After breakfast we explored Hollywood Studios.  This was probably my least favorite park with little kids, but we didn't ride many of the big rides, rather, we spent most of our time at shows like the Mickey Mouse show, the Little Mermaid and Indian Jones show, and we spent (way too much) time at the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground.  This park is also pretty narrow, so it felt really crowded really early.  We ended up going back to our hotel for a bit and returning later for dinner at the 50's café.  It was pretty fun, food was good, then we explored a little more before going home. 

Day 4 was my favorite overall park day- Animal Kingdom.  Once you get IN the park, it didn't feel crowded (can you tell I have crowd issues) and it had a really cool vibe. My FAVORITE was hanging out in Africa watching the African street band while the kids danced. This is the park that has the Lion King show as well.  I LOVED LOVED LOVED this show. I could have watched it all day. And, like all the other shows we watched, we were right on the front row, so the kids got picked to be in the ending portion.  After that and a few rides, including the Safari, we headed over to the Tuscar House for another, really neat, character meal.  I almost cancelled this, seeing how I changed/adjusted almost every single thing we did, but I'm glad we didn't.  Lyla was SUPER excited to meet Donald and Daisy, they had yummy beers and really good African influenced food.  Again, the really need vibe of Africa was enjoyed by all. 

After lunch, we explored Asia, Dino Land, saw Nemo, C rode Everst (and LOVED it), but it closed at 5 and we had to head back over the Magic Kingdom for Mickey's Christmas Party.

As you can see from above and below, we all really loved that is was SNOWING on Main Street.  The kids laughed and hugged and played, (maybe we like snow if it's 70 degrees) until C caught some in his mouth and realized "it's just SOAP MOM! It's SOAP!" I caught that on video, it was hilarious.  We got to see the parade that Disney airs on TV on Christmas Day, LIVE, we even got to see Cinderella in her carriage, all the dwarfs, and SANTA came at the end.  OH! And Tinker Bell flew over us from the castle.  It was cool and worth the extra money. The kids loaded up on Mickey's cookies and hot chocolate and had a ball.

The last day we had planned on going to Epcot.  We knew it was a older kid park, but Elsa and Anna were there from Frozen.  This was the only line we waited in for more that 10 minutes the whole week. And I waited for TWO hours while J and the kids did all the kid friendly stuff at Epcot.  But, my hot (I was dressed to go back to OK that day) long wait was totally worth it.  The kids were TOTALLY enchanted and these princesses were SO great with them. 

 After the Frozen experience we decided it was HOT and we hadn't been to our resorts pool at all, and of course, we were leaving that night, so we headed back for some fun in the sun.  For the first time the trip, we dug the kids swimsuits out of our suitcases in public (we had stored our luggage earlier) and went to the pool.  Within 10 minutes we realized that we should have done this EVERY DAY and when we go back we will do a park early and leave around 1-2, play at the pool until late afternoon, head back for more evening fun.  Anyway, while we were realizing we got a text saying our flight was cancelled, so we booked another night, in another room, at our resort and continued playing in the pool.  The next morning, we packed up again, and headed out, but called before we left to verify our flight.  There was a huge ice storm in OKC, so there were no flights going out.  The lady at Southwest recommended that we go ahead and reschedule for the next day.  So we did.  BUT, rates at Disney had double the night before for "peak season" so we decided to not stay there, but not before we went swimming some more.  SO, once again, I dug into our suitcases in public to get bathing suits.  We laid out at the pool and played all day again, until finally deciding to leave for our hotel by the airport.  We took the magic express to the airport and a shuttle to our hotel, checked in and headed  out to Orlando's City Walk.  We had the BEST time going to Margaritaville, and Bob Marleys, and the Universal store and taking silly pics all around.  Then the next morning we went to the airport again. And guess what?  Flight was delayed ALL DAY!  We FINALLY got home to OK around 2am, took a shuttle to our car that was still at the hotel we stayed at on the way out, Josh fought for an hour with the ice trying to get his truck door open and windshield cleaned, but by 3am we were on the road.  Got home around 4, and poor Josh was up and at work by 8:30 the next day.  Which was suddenly the day before Christmas EVE!?! I didn't even have all my shopping done...

We had a wonderful time and I'm so glad I went when it was still super magical to my kids and all the princesses were the "real" ones.  We can't wait to go back and have a 'bigger kid' experience that included Universal and Harry Potter World!

Side note: It has now been 7 months since our trip, but I got it done...

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


I ran my first marathon 5 years ago.  It was the best horrific experience of my life.  I trained alone.  I ran alone.  I had the worst runs of my life.  The worst being my 17 when I ran home from work in Seminole to Shawnee.  I was sick, my legs were miserable, cars tried to run me off the road, I got sick in a STORE.  It was TERRIBLE.  Then I ended up injured after my 20, resulting in hundreds of dollars spent at the ortho doc to get me in shape enough to run…

When race day came, I was pumped, and that feeling got me through mile 15, but then 15-26.2 were the hardest of my life. I remember stopping at mile 23 and telling my friend (and inspiration to run), Erin that I was done. I told her that 23 miles was far enough for me.  Well, being the good friend that she is, she told me there was no way in hell she was gonna let me stop.  So I carried on. 

The last three miles were the worst miles of my life. EVERYTHING hurt, I couldn't even TOUCH my arms without them aching. I remember thinking I may literally fall on my face during a downhill stretch and having to lean back as if I were on water skis.  I crossed the finish line promising myself that I would NEVER do that again. My body was KILLING me, my toes were unrecognizable, BUT, I had NEVER felt more proud. That struggle was the hardest thing I had ever endured and I made it.  It wasn't pretty, 5 hours and 45 minutes of UGLY, but I did it. I ran a marathon.

And during that race, I learned I could do anything I put my mind to. 

Well, five years later, the pain and suffering didn't seem as bad, and I started talking with my friend Emily about running a full.  We had been running a lot of half’s, they were getting pretty easy.  So in August we committed.  She decided to run Disney in January (against my good sound advice) and I was gonna do the Rt. 66 in Tulsa in November.  We agreed to train with each other for each run.  She would run more than she needed to before mine, and I would run more than I needed to after.  "As long as I'm not injured" I keep telling her. 

Another GIANT first for me happened this time around.  I finally became an early morning runner. I've ALWAYS wanted to be the person who works out before work, but I don't sleep that well at night, so I had written myself off.  However, E talked me into trying it.  Before I knew it, we were running by 5am (or before) 3-4 days a week.  Now, don't kid yourself, I woke every morning cussing E in my head, but I was always thankful for her determination by the end of each run.  So, run by run, week by week, we progressed...

We had a TERRIBLE 15 mile run. We both whine.  A lot. But this day was way worse. I was crazy sick.  E was just not feeling it.  We both felt at mile 2 the way we feel at mile 11.  It was just awful.  This was the only run that I rounded up on my watch. We got back at 14.95 and I was like "that's good enough." I ALWAYS finish, but not that day. It sucked.  However, we decided to use it as motivation rather than being discouraged.  We decided that if we can run through THAT feeling like THAT, then we could do anything. 

 A few weeks later my back went out. Not too bad, but I had a half on Sunday and so I was in my chiropractors office on Thursday.  Since I have the best chiropractor in the world, he said "no worries, you'll run Sunday, you'll PR." And you know what?  We did. I was a little worried at first b/c my back DID hurt, and by the end I was no longer speaking to Emily, but instead just trying to hold back my groaning.  But despite the pain, we finished. 

 17 was next. We were TOTALLY sick and tired of running the sidewalkless streets of Shawnee, dodging cars, and men in street clothes at the back of the airport, so we went to Norman.  My brother told us about a great route that had as much without sidewalk as Shawnee has WITH.  17 ended up great!  We finished with a Guinness and a little shopping.

 Since 17 was so great, we wanted to do the same for 20.  So we did exactly the same things we had been for every long run.  Burger and a beer the night before, PB sandwhich in the morning, coffee for me, spark for E, beans along the way. Gatorade from mile 10 on.  The only problem with our 20 was the 25+mph winds that were seriously blowing us over!  But we made it, only 7 minutes slower than I had hoped.  We finished that run with some dark beer and pizza. 

 The next few weeks it got COLD.  Now, I HATE HATE HATE cold. I would TOTALLY rather sweat than freeze.  But once again, I let E talk me into crazy.  Josh bought me some cold weather running gear, (knowing I'd never actually buy it for myself) and we dove in.  Now, the first day E made me run in cold, it was COOOOLD.  Crazy winds at our faces. NO ONE else was even running that day.  Not even the die hard iron man people.  It was THAT cold.  But there we were.  I was sick (yes… again), we were COLD, but we did it. So, at this point I was running in the dark, in the COOOLD, so early that E saw a shooting star one morning… (yes, that was the day I realized how nuts we were…)

 Our last long run for my race was another brutal day that had all the other runners inside or rescheduling.  It was raining and cold. Emily pointed out that “we shouldn’t run b/c there was a rainbow” which somehow seemed hopeful to Chrissy (the girl I’m now calling my coach) and I, but to E, it felt totally dumb.  But I had ONE more long training run, so we took off.  And it was great! We finished stronger and faster than I had ever before. 

 The following week was my taper week.  We ran only twice.  One 5 and one 3.  On our last three we discussed pace.  I had signed up expecting a 12 minute mile pace, but now felt I could do better. ‘Coach Chrissy’ suggested 10mm.  I laughed at her, explaining to her that I wasn’t even confident in my ability to run under 10 on short runs, much less for a marathon.  We decided that 10:30 is a much better pace to attempt to maintain.

 The week before the race a winter storm started rolling in putting rain/snow/sleet chances up to 70% on Sunday and temps below freezing.  Friday afternoon the sleet started.  I just stared out my window thinking “I can do cold, but not if I’m wet.” The weather conditions really shook me up messing with my confidence.  However, by Saturday, the precipitation chances had decreased.  We went and bought everything waterproof we could find though, just in case, and took off to a VERY cold Tulsa.

Saturday was pretty darn fun.  We were nervous about the temps, but feeling confident it would be dry. We did some expo shopping, burger and a beer (of COURSE) at a pub, and even stopped after a Walmart run to see my brother for a bit since he was playing across the street from the store.  After enjoying a beer at Winstar as well as the OSU game, we headed back to the hotel, had some hummus, and more football then went to the room to get ready.

 Like two hours later, we had all our gear set to go and we got to sleep.  I woke two hours later, around 2am, and again at 5am, and decided to just get on up.  I was ready to watch the weather.  Still looked dry! So we got dressed in our running clothes and our FANTASTIC matching sweat pants we got at Walmart to throw off during the course. We looked like Barney and friends….

When we got downtown we were almost hot from the bus ride, thank GOODNESS, because it was C.O.L.D. Temp was 18 with wind chill of TWELVE (I heard).  By the time we started both feet were totally numb ,and I was seriously worried about losing TOES over toeNAILS. But by the end of the first mile my right foot had feeling, by the end of 2, my left, then by 3 we ditched our Barney gear. Unfortunately, when our shirts were over our heads, Lindsey got away from us.  We spent about 4 miles trying to find her, until we got a text saying her knee was too bad to finish. (she had an unfortunate incident involving a mouse early in the week…) So, we took off.  Stopping only long enough to walk and drink some FROZEN water.  Seriously, I kept getting ice stuck in my throat, and the drinks were so cold that it made me cough SO hard each time. BUT, I knew despite my freezing cold face, that I was losing fluids, so I kept pushing them.

Like already stated, I had planned on running this race like we had ran our training runs, which involved a restroom stop half way through. The plan was to split from Emily when she turned to finish the half and go to the restroom.  So, 12ish came and Emily had to go.  She asked how I was, I said “Fine.  Feel great.” She told me she would try to meet up around 20something to finish with me.  I told her to get warm if she needed to and not to worry about me if it was too hard. I was REALLY feeling good. 

Split happened.  I finally turned on my music and started MY challenge. Alone, in the cold for 13ish more miles.  I passed the restroom.  No need to stop.  There was a point that I felt tightness in my knee, but I think it was my compression sleeve up to high or something. I adjusted it and kept going.  The course was pretty hilly, but hills don’t really bug me.  I run hard up and get the feeling of flying going down.  I got so lost in this run.  I KNOW I accidently sang (or rapped) aloud a few times… people looked at me funny.  Who cares.  They most likely couldn’t REALLY hear me over their music (or at least that’s what I tell myself). 

The next think I knew I was at 15. Still no need to stop. Then around 18 there was BEER in little Dixie cups.  PERFECT!  It was like heaven in a cup! I grabbed one and actually ran AND drank it. It was the BEST PBR I have EVERY tasted AND it wasn't FROZEN. After that I had a giant surge of energy!  I continued on while telling myself to take each stretch “one water station at a time.”  I continued to walk just long enough to get a quick drink through these, reminding myself that I HAD to take in calories/electrolytes and of course the fluids, and since I was still coughing my lungs up after every sip, I had to slow.  BUT, every time I took back off I felt amazing. 

I looked down at one point at I was running a 8:50 pace. Next thing I knew I was at 20. TWENTY ten minutes sooner than I had ever dreamed, especially in the conditions, I mean, there was ICE on the ROAD in parts.  I sent a text while I ran to Emily telling her my location, and she told me she was waiting at 21. 

Well, THAT was there so fast! Next thing I knew E and L were running behind me.  L ran for as long as her poor knee would let her, before going back, but E ran on with me as planned. I wasn’t much company at this point, we normally talk and talk.  I was doing ok, but I was digging deep and losing myself in lyrics and beats.  I was also replaying every encouraging message that had been sent to me.  I remember feeling so thankful for ‘Coach Chrissy’ who told me that I just need to give it all I can, and others who had expressed their faith in my ability to complete this.  In fact, I was in such a good place, that my  thoughts when the girls joined me were, “I kinda don’t need the company like I thought, they should just get warm.”  But then mile 24 came… 

Miles 24-26 were tough, although, my pace hadn’t slowed.  In fact, it stayed no slower than 9:40. By this point, I was having to only take little sips at the water stations b/c I was coughing so hard due to the cold/frozen drinks.  At mile 24 I told Emily , shocked, that I could walk in and get my goal time. Of course, I have good friends, she said “no” and we took back off. 

Mile 24.5 I got nauseous. I really considered puking in a trash can.  But I held on.  THIS was when I needed Emily.  My music was too loud to hear her, but we have ran HOURS together, I knew what she was saying.  Using her fingers/hands she was telling me what my route was, she waved a straight/left turn/25.  Then at 25, she gave me more signals.  I just nodded.  I was having to close my eyes while I ran to avoid puking. The whole time just thinking “this is FANTASTIC! This didn’t get hard until the last TWO MILES!  And even HARD, I’m not SLOWING DOWN.”
Anyway,  25.5ish came with a killer hill.  I only remember a guy holding a sign that said “this hill is your bitch” and thinking “yeah it is” and I took off up it.  Emily made some gestures again about a turn or two, and the next think I knew my watch said 26!  I tried to hold it up to her, but I’m not sure I actually DID… I saw the FIRST people I knew on the side line right when I got close to the finish, it was Elizabeth Carroll and friends. I took this opportunity to turn off my music and take it in.  E split off so that she didn’t ‘re-finish’, told me to meet at gear check, and I took off.

For the first race finish EVER I didn’t feel like I may fall over after I cross the line, I heard my name announced, people were cheering, and I was just staring at the clock thinking “how the HELL did I just do THAT?”  I crossed the finish, and paused my watch at 4:25.  4:25.  35 minutes faster than my goal. 

I walked stunned through the finish corral, getting my silver blanket thing (maybe someday I’ll learn the name of those), someone handed me spaghetti, which did nothing but remind me of my need to puke, I wondered on out to gear check to find my friends looking for my bag that the gear check people couldn’t find.  By this point I was shaking so hard and my tummy hurt so bad I was honestly kind of worried.  After a quick pic, Lindsey gave me her clothes and sent me to Spaghetti Warehouse to change while they looked for my bag. Have I mentioned I have great friends?

In the restroom I realized why I was SOOO cold, I had sweat through three layers of clothes!  I was SOAKING wet.  I also found my toe bleeding through my socks, which excited me because it was my first bloody sock! Anyway, I got changed and took off.  We got to the hotel, got in warm showers, got food, and headed home to the bad weather.

Overall, I’m still amazed. Now, I KNOW 4:25 (4:29 official) is NOT warp speed or anything.  Hell, it doesn’t even qualify me for jack. BUT, it was more than I ever knew I could get out of myself.  Remember, my legs are so short that I take two steps to most everyone’s one. I like to joke and say that I really run twice as far as the rest ;).  But seriously, running a marathon… there is nothing like it. It tests your endurance, your mental strength, you willpower, your dedication, and commitment. Completing the training is impressive, but completing the race is AMAZING. 

So what did I learn during this race?  I learned that I want more AMAZING.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Fall Catch-up

WOW!  I haven't blogged since August.  Of course, I'm not surprised... I've hardly had time. So, time for some updates.

C is loving Kindergarten.  Other than starting off a little bored with the curriculum and having an issue getting in trouble talking, he is doing really well.  He is reading short stories, and has started reading some on his board books at home.  He is turning into a pretty hard worker at home too. He loves to do his homework and read his readers.  He works on homework after school everyday if we are home and every morning over breakfast.  Let's hope he continues to be so disiplined.

Lyla LOVES LOVES LOVES "class."  She is still in Mothers Day Out, and this year is SOOO different from last year.  Last year I left her crying most days.  I was reassured daily that it only lasted a couple of minutes, but the guilt was HUGE.  This year she rushes ME to get her to class, goes to bed every night excited about class, and I barely get a hug in before she's off to "play play play."

Lyla is REALLY getting into her friends.  She has several "best friends" they are LilliAnn, Quinn (aka 'Twin"), Bella, and she "really likes Garrett."  She still doesn't speak that clear, and I'm kind of ok with it.  I LOVE that she "sucks on her finKers" and that everything ends with es "shoeses, forkes, spLoones."  I love it.  She still sucks her finkers and 'scratches' on her blankie. I'm starting to discourage the fingers however, since she is getting major calluses, and her middle finger is getting crooked.  Seriously. Over all, Lyla is just LOVE.  She colors for everyone she knows, gives kisses, hugs, and tells us like 1099 times a day that she "just loves" us.

Both kids are in soccer now.  Carson is really getting pretty good. He is starting to look like he actually knows how to play. Lyla on the other hand mainly picks flowers. She cried at practice last night because a boy took the ball from her during an SCRIMMAGE.  We will be finishing up this season and do something like ballet... She is just so small that the big kids really intimidate her.

That's all for now- I have to go work on something that WILL be worth a longer blog... ;)